Identity Theft Protection From Spector Spyware Threat

By: Cynthia Blake

Identity theft protection is quickly becoming a hot topic. Every day, computer users are haunted by stories of people falling victim to identity theft. The biggest culprit in this recent rise in cyber crime is spyware, the buzzword that is on the lips of every internet user. Experts are now saying that nothing is 100 percent secure on the internet anymore, and users must take steps to protect themselves.

Although computer users are becoming much more adept at protecting themselves from online identity theft threats such as viruses, the public is only just now starting to take notice of the huge increase in crimes enabled by the use of spyware.

A couple based in Philadelphia was recently arrested for their illegal use of the spyware program Spector, which is a widely available program that anyone can buy for under $100. Spector is a keylogger, and once installed on a computer it has the ability to record all keystroke activity and send it out to virtually anyone—including cyber criminals. Spector is able to record information such as passwords, credit cards, social security numbers, and other sensitive information.

The company responsible for SpectorSoft is currently defending itself, stating that its program was never marketed as a way to steal information. Instead, they wrote the program to be used “legitimately” to keep tabs on business employees, spouses concerned about affairs, and keeping a watchful eye on teenagers’ internet surfing habits.

However, because of Spector’s ease of use, it enables almost anyone to become a cyber criminal. According to Robert Graham, security executive at Atlanta based Errata Security, 99% of the people who download programs like Spector do not use it for legitimate reasons.

Spyware like Spector enables cyber criminals to easily gain access to sensitive information such as banking usernames and passwords, credit card information, social security numbers, and more. Just because a banking site labels itself as secure does not mean that a user is protected from a keylogger. Since keyloggers reside on the user’s computer, they record keystrokes in real time, and can steal and send password information before the user even submits that information across the internet to a banking site.

Is identity theft protection possible? Can users protect themselves from the threat of spyware? Is there a way to remove spyware from an infected computer? The answer, thankfully, is yes. There are several spyware removal programs on the market that do an incredible job of finding and removing dangerous spyware programs such as Spector.

Users must be careful, however, since there are many “rogue” anti spyware programs that are actually spyware themselves. The best bet is to purchase a spyware program from a reputable software vendor, such as ParetoLogic or PCTools.

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